with all that noted, if i was a part of the travelers, my first priorities would be:
1-setting up the smithy
2-tilling and planting what crops could be planted late season
3-acquiring all the lumber needed for both tasks as fast as possible.
This is very relevant, and a good point. The OP of the TBACT4 will include a synopsis of the first month, which makes this another good topic of discussion. Could the refugees get by without a smithy? They will need one sooner, rather than later.
Again, something relevant to the OP of TBACT4, it might be a rush to get food planted as well as foraged from the surrounding forest and fields before the winter. The rural refugees will know this. Very good point.
My friend and brother-in-arms, I just got back and am letting all this soak in. Some, if not all the posts are great...! The creativity is wonderful.
Count me in, if you'll have me.
1 I like the idea of keeping Moses in the dark about the cause of her power loss and the dragon. As an attempt to try and regain the favor of her patron (who is a demon, but do we have a name for it yet? Are we going to use a major Archduke? If so I vote for Asmodeus. If not I vote to look here
She chose to lead the people to the redoubt(how did they know of it btw? Was this already discussed?) in order to build again. Her intent is to have a sort of rebirth of society that moves away from a noble/royalty based system and instead focuses on the needs of all those in the city not just the 'higher' castes. Perhaps a democratic rule, perhaps not but the above would still be a theme in any government or leadership set up (however temporary).
I also would like to make a move to change the name Moses, it seems very masculine to me.
2. Something that should be kept in mind regarding resources is that we do not need iron immediately.snipOf course it's the best resource to progress technology but we can start with what we have. For example:
Since we live along a river, we could make do with brick houses (dried mud blocks) although we seem to have a good number of ways to access lumber.
Instead of nails we can use wood stubs, for axes we can use stone, for farming implements we can use wood. Many civilizations have used these resources for lack of a solid iron source.
For defensive purposes we can also use stone, wood, bone and horn. Bows, arrows and spears are the easiest weapons to learn basic techniques for and can easily be constructed of primitive materials.
Carts: I doubt that most of those who came would have walked. Someone (maybe I'll do this later) should go through and figure out who would have brought a cart. The two noble families should have one each. I would think Moses would have prepared her own cart full of supplies (food, seeds and the like).
3As for the state of the redoubt: I would vote for minimalistic.
Or even nifty giant mushrooms.
Can I vote to have the first child born be named Mikey 'Mushroom' [last name]?
wouldn't the mushrooms seem a bit too convienant?
i mean it already has a heated water supply, wouldn't heated water AND naturally growing food be a bit on really damn lucky side?
personally i'd like to see the redoubt barren be dusty and forgotten about when the settlers arrive. gives it something of a "it was a pretty decent spot, but we had to work hard to make it work" vs. "we were pretty much guarenteed success".
BTW, where did you get the name for Puma Felidae from? I ask because someone I DMed a PbP game for named a puma cat-person Felidae. Curious coincidence :P
Tam - lantern and oil
What kind of oil are we talking here? I have been thinking a lot about the self-sustainability of our fledgling community. What happens when the oil runs out?
~Anagram Exercise~A - E - E - I - L - L - M - N - Q - R - T - U
I think survivors in question could be united around some religious (or quasi-religious) institution. That could give them some common cause to fight for. I don't mean them to be religiuos community, lots people could be just paying lip service to it or even refuse it altogether, but it is a uniting force of the community (could be a corrupt force for a darker twist). It gives lots of prophecy-kind hooks for adventures which could be rather simple or twisted and complicated.
I also had an idea regarding a magical source to bring several of the ideas together. I started by taking the idea of a coastal city possessing a similar lighthouse like on the earthberg. Powered by magic (nexus perhaps or a trapped entity similar to Final Fantasy espers), the city was a true point of light. But, like all lights, eventually they get too hot and burn out. In this case, though, it exploded, unleashing a torrent of magical energy across several countrysides, thus bringing us to the present. Now the city lies in ruins, the lighthouse is erratic and dangerous, and a redoubt in a nearby mountain valley is the last refuge for a mere handful of survivors. After that, the redoubt, an ancient dwarven structure, is used as the basis for the new city; think Helm's Deep (from Tolkein) or Thorbardin (Dragonlance setting/Dwarven Nations Trilogy.)
EDIT: I had another idea, spawned by the lighthouse idea. Perhaps the lighthouse is powered by a trapped entity. After centuries of confinement, a crack in its crystal "cage" allowed it to break free, causing a massive explosion. Now, the dragon (not necessarily red, or even chromatic, chaos perhaps), driven mad by slavery, lays waste to the surrounding countryside before departing into locations unknown, as a reminder to the survivors of their folly.
If we use the 'Dragon Gone Mad' idea, I think it would be interesting to use a dragon which is normally good aligned. An insane Gold Dragon ravaging the country side.
I just think it would be nice to try to use something different; give PCs (possibly once they are high enough level) a chance to fight a monster which they normally don't get to see as a monster.
The gold dragon was trapped via magic by a less than good mayor/other official of the town a long time ago. She didn't care what kind of creature she trapped; all she needed was a power source, and she figured out a way to tap into the dragon's magical energies by trapping him -similar to espers as you mentioned.
Perhaps as the crystal cage is only cracked, the entity is only able to come out periodically or at random times (slipping its bonds as it were) before being magically recalled to the crystal prison. If we use something like a fire archon as described in the article on the WotC site, I could easily see it laying siege against the city that kept it prisoner, preventing it from fighting in the war. If we say the creature can not damage the crystal itself, and the presence of other living beings near the cage dramatically increases the likelihood of it slipping free (unstable magic and an inability to fix the cage because you can not get close enough) so much the better. This also leads to a semi-permanent guardian of the old city ruins, especially if the creature is automatically pulled back into its prison if it travels to far when "free".
I think this is a great idea.
But why the gold dragon?
Perhaps the gold dragon originally helped the town to be founded. Going back to one of the original ideas, it was mentioned that a good dragon was helping to protect the town. Perhaps a few members of the original town council became unsatisfied with the dragon's "rule" over the town. The reason could be anything from feeling that the town was developing too slowly in comparison to a rival town or perhaps they just found the dragon to be overbearing and resented it. Perhaps the reason has been forgotten and various outlawed historical texts have a few versions of the story.
At any rate, at some point the unsatisfied council members made contact with a devil who appeared as a benign entity and promised that the town would be both prosperous and free of the dragon for no less than _______ amount of years. The devil only asked two things: the entire council (including those who had no qualms about the dragon) had to offer the dragon to the devil as a sign of submission, and the town had to build sculptures to worship the devil as a god and praise the devil in their religious services. In fact, the devil at the time claimed to be a deity; the false name that the devil gave became the local deity (or patron saint or whatever) of the town. For thousands of years the inhabitants of the town had/have worshipped the being who would be the reason for the town's destruction.
The amount of time the deal was made for has passed; now the gold dragon (no longer good due to torment and being imprisioned for so long) is released and ravages the town. From here we can tie in the idea I had of this occuring the same night as an attack from a group of hostile humanoids.
One of the huge secrets of this idea is the true story behind the dragon and the devil. Possibly one of the refugees is even a clergy member of the church which praises the devil's false identity (cleric with a few warlock abilities); he starts to notice that some of his cleric abilities are working unusually or maybe not working at all.
That's how I see it anyway.
rather lengthy ideaThorast had great potential, wise beyond what his youth should have allowed. A strong spirit burnt within him whose drive even gods could recognize. Some learned men might say that his power came too early, that Thorast Kax was doomed from birth, but this is hindsight and old men are prone to speculate on such things when they are no longer important.
Before the city was known as Thorast Kax, it was simply Nesbith, a small sanctuary in the wide woods of the Doulogg Forests. Hardy men cleared out their living from the ever growing circle of trees, others followed in their paths and sowed seed, and a mill made Nesbith a center of agriculture. It was a quiet time in the world.
Trouble never lets peace rest, and the word of the town's success traveled to ears of those who would take advantage. It was only a few gnolls at first, a small band that thought they could easily take what men had made. But the men had a forge, and hard wills, and they held strong against the first threats.
This act of resistance angered the pride of the proud gnolls, and soon it was war. Packs of gnolls gathered to storm the town, ravage it, and leave their mark.
In a twist of fate, such attention from the monstrous races stirred the interest of yet another force in the world, a gold dragon. Gnolls would pose little threat to it, and it's protective nature called out to it. A town worth defending. One that could pay homage to it.
On a fateful morning, the young gold dragon swooped in over the tree line and perched itself atop the mill in the center of town. It was a spectacle than none in Nesbith had ever seen nor imagined. And nary a soul had the courage to approach.
"You have defended yourselves valiantly," boomed the dragon in the common tongue, "but your good efforts do not go unpunished."
Fear gripped the hearts of the people, they saw their end in the gleam of the beast's eye. The dragon saw one who dared glare back, not but a wyrmling, the youth had a bold spirit. You could say that the young Thorast Kax resented the dragon from that moment.
"Armies of gnolls are assembled. They march here to defend their honor, and the honor of their god. But theirs is a twisted honor, corrupt and vile. They will ravage this town and leave no plank unburned or child living."
"We defended ourselves, 'tis all," called the blacksmith, a mighty fighter of age old wars, "and have no quarrel."
"I am bound by truth," roared the young dragon. "My word is law."
The young dragon had a gleam in his eye, hatred boiled within him.
"You will cower down before me, and supplicate yourselves, and I will be your might against the gnoll army."
None opposed him.
When the time came, and preparations had been made, the might of the gnoll tribes were nothing in the face of the gold dragon and the fighting men of Nesbith.
The young dragon took pride in the town, and ruled fairly over them, taking only what grain and livestock he needed to subsist. The town grew rapidly under the watchful eye of the dragon, as did Thorast, who was soon a man.
Thorast resented the rule of the dragon, and remembered the might of men. He knew that the city was capable of defending itself against hostilities, such as the first gnoll raiders. The dragon had even relied on men to defend the town when the gnoll army was on their doorstep, not caring that men lived or died, as long as he triumphed. And now the sloth taxed the town of its very livelihood, literally eating away their profits rather than hunt for himself in the wide woods.
In a dark place of which no men speak, the silent prayers of vengeance were heard, and supernal beings dispatched to his aid.
No one saw the tall eladrin noblewoman enter the town. Illehandir was her name, and she sought the young man Thorast. They conspired. Seeds of discord were planted, and they quickly grew into fruition.
"If you can convince the dragon scoundrel to willingly spill his blood on this contract," spoke Illehandir, weaving her spell over the young Thorast, "he will be bound and in his place you will rule over Nesbith in prosperity until your death, when you will be vaulted up into the heavens to take your place among the noble souls of our god."
Man is corruptable. Thorast was a man.
It was late autumn when Thorast went before the dragon with the contract. His plan hinged on the impetuousness of the young dragon. Were the dragon to read the contract, Thorast would surely die. But his time with Illehandir, sowing seeds of hate among the people of Nesbith, had granted him a silver tongue, and hubris to choke a horse.
"I am owed a debt, fair king," Thorast began his gambit.
"I will judge fairly, as ever," stated the dragon. "With whom is your quarrel?"
A small crown gathered in the center of town, to behold the laying low of the beast.
"Oh great lord, it ways heavy on my heart, but the quarrel is with thee. For I have carried this burden in my heart for fully half of my years and yet the torment still lingers."
"I have wronged no man."
"Nor spilt blood, when men have."
"I am lord of this people for my might, and have never spilled my blood upon the ground."
"Yet my father gave his life in this town's defense along side you."
The dragon thought on this, it being a fair statement.
"What will settle this debt?"
"This is the but the will of my father, and I ask only that you spill your own blood upon this parchment, that we might see it, and know that you are with us and not over us as a tyrant would."
The dragon thought on it, and, without reading the parchment, drew his own blood and dripped it onto the parchment.
His folly cost him his freedom, as chains rose up from the ground and dragged the beast down into the depths of the earth. Where he had stood there was now a gigantic well which descended into the darkness.
The town cheered, free now of the tyranny of the beast. Thorast was exalted as a hero, and a feast held in his honor. He was a king among men, and given place as ruler over the town. For who else could outwit a dragon?
Illehandir, the eladrin noblewoman, ruled by Thorast's side, though he knew her true nature. He had sold his soul for his people, and she only waited to collect it. The eladrin form allowed her to pass as mortal, yet never age.
Nesbith was ruled in peace under the careful eye of Thorast. Seventy years he had reigned before Illehandir approached him with a gift. No more powerful a sacrifice had been made in the name of her lord, than had been done by his hand, and as a gift to the mortal, the lord of the hosts would impart one wish to Thorast.
Thorast thought long. He was damned as sure as he'd been born. His consequence had seemed so far off when he had first beguiled the dragon, but now his time was near at hand. When he fell, he knew that his great city would fall with him, and this saddened him most of all. For all his power, he was impotent.
In a dark chamber, with Illehandir at his side, a mark was set, and her lord called. From the smoke and fire of the mark appeared a great fiend, a lord of the pits of hell.
In that dark room, Thorast made a deal most unspeakable, for knowledge most vile and reprehensible. And in the coming years Thorast did not die. Instead he seemed ageless.
War fell upon the empire of Thorast Kex, though he went undefeated. He was a legend among his own people, Thorast Kex the Ever Living.
Thorast became twisted with the war, sacrificing his foes to the gaping mouth of the dragon pit at the epicenter of his empire.
He was invincible.
Just an idea I had about the original city and the origin of the insane ravaging gold dragon in captivity.
the question becomes: Are the keepers of the pact still the leaders of the city? If the pact keepers fell from public power, the dragon could have been attacking seemingly random targets around the city with a vengeance.
ah. i misunderstood about the mushrooms. sounds pretty cool if done that way, could add alot of flavor if used right(pun intended).
this is a pontentially offbeat question, but what are the current thoughts on thorast kax the person. did the dragon get him, did the devil/fey, or did he weasel out of it. i honestly don't think it's unreasonable to say he might still be around. after all we are talking about a guy who was smart enough to outwit a dragon when he was still a young adult, who knows a thing or two about summon/contacting powerful otherworldly beings, and has had 5000(or so) years of experience under his belt. not to mention he knew the day was coming and when it would happen. might be interesting to see what would happen if thorast was able to slime his way out of paying the piper.
And now for a fun game!~Anagram Exercise~A - E - E - I - L - L - M - N - Q - R - T - U
The priests of Thorast Kax worshiped a unique false god, though the priests unknowingly drew "divine" power from the lighthouse where the gold dragon was imprisoned for countless centuries. Rearrange the letters of the draconic words for light (itmen) and house (quellar) to come up with a unique name for the false god of Thorast Kax!
A compiled list of origin concerns:
* Were the minerals that the Dwarves considered valuable panned/mined out?
* Did something kick the Dwarves out of the Redoubt?
* Did the Dwarves discover something in the caves below the Redoubt that made them leave?
* Was the redoubt may be in such a state of disrepair that occupying it was not viable?
* Was it somewhat far away from where the main power center of the kingdom was in the past, so that when wars and other world changing events started to happen, the kingdom to whom the fort belonged to couldn't afford to support the fort anymore?
* Did the dwarves developed stronger walls, better defensive structures or a newer better fort in the same area?
* Did the dwarves win the war for which they built the fort?
* What if the cave and redoubt were at the upper elevation of a river valley with a relatively steep grade (20-30%)? Making it too darned inconvenient a climb.
more to follow...